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LJ McKanas

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LJ McKanas
S28 LJ McKanas
Contestant Profile
Birth Date January 8, 1979 (1979-01-08) (age 36)
Hometown Boston, MA
Occupation Horse Trainer


Tribe(s) Solana
Placement 9/18
Alliance(s) Solana Alliance
Challenge(s) Won 8
Vote(s) Against 8
Day(s) Lasted 25

Leon Joseph "LJ" McKanas[1] is a contestant from Survivor: Cagayan.

The leader of the pre-swap Beauty Tribe and a key member of the Solana Alliance, he became a quiet and dangerous player. For that reason, he was blindsided by his closest ally Tony Vlachos.


Name (Age): LJ McKanas (34)
Tribe Designation: Solana
Current Residence: Boston, Mass.
Occupation: Horse Trainer
Personal Claim to Fame: Making the Hall of Fame at Northeastern University and my high school.
Inspiration in Life: My mom because she beat cancer.
Hobbies: Horse racing, fishing and designing.
Pet Peeves: Incompetent people, liars and thieves.
3 Words to Describe You: Competitive, creative and witty.
If You Could Have 3 Things on The Island What Would They Be and Why? Starburst and an iPad.
SURVIVOR Contestant You Are Most Like: Boston Rob, because he has just the right amount of charm, charisma and looks to persuade anyone to do what he wants.
Reason for Being on SURVIVOR: The challenging adventure and the money.
Why You Think You’ll “Survive” SURVIVOR: My puzzle skills, athletic ability, my wittiness and logical thinking.
Why You Think You Will Be the Sole SURVIVOR: My athleticism will carry me through the early stages, my charm through the middle, and smarts to play through to the end.
Do You Consider Yourself a Brain, a Beauty or a Brawn? I’d consider myself a Brawn. I'm a down-to-earth, rugged guy who is not afraid to get his hands dirty. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and brains seem to be smarts lacking the physical abilities. You can be brawny and good-looking and we have a brain.
Who Do You Think Has the Best Chance in the Game of Survivor: Brains, Beauty or Brawn? Brawn have the best chance. Perception is they are big, competitive athletes lacking the mental fortitude to go on. After dominating early physical challenges they present little mental risk for further advance in the game. Egos left aside, they have the best chance to win the game.

Survivor: CagayanEdit

LJ was placed on the beauty tribe in Survivor Cagayan. LJ was chosen to be the leader of the Beauty tribe and chose Morgan McLeod as the weakest. LJ formed an Alliance with Jeremiah Wood, Alexis Maxwell, and Jefra Bland. Their alliance wanted to target Brice Johnston who was alienating himself from the group. Fortunately for them, they didn't need to go to tribal council through the first 7 days. During the huge storm on Day 7, LJ decided to search for the hidden immunity idol which he found. Upon losing the Day 8 Immunity Challenge, LJ's alliance decided to split the votes between Morgan and Brice. Morgan and Brice tried to convince Jeremiah to vote out Alexis, but he stayed true to his word, and Brice was sent home. On Day 12, everyone was shocked at a tribe switch. LJ was placed on the Solana tribe with fellow alliance member Jefra. LJ bonded with Trish when they realized they were both from Boston. After losing the immunity challenge, LJ was the target. However, Trish and Tony wanted to save LJ and blindside Cliff. At tribal council, Trish and Tony voted with LJ and Jefra to blindside Cliff leaving Lindsey and Woo shocked. After tribal council, Lindsey decided to quit the game due to the fact that she didn't want to set a bad example for her daughters by getting mad at Trish. On Day 17, the tribes merged and the Solana tribe was looking to flip someone to their side to gain control. After realizing that Sarah wasn't going to flip, Trish tried to flip Kass to their side who seemed to be having conflicts with Sarah. At tribal council, the Solana tribe voted for Sarah in hopes of Kass switching to their side. In order to assure that nobody was going home, Tony played his idol on LJ, and to repay the favor, LJ played his idol on Tony. To shock them all, the Aparri tribe voted for Jefra. However, Kass ended up voting for Sarah causing her original tribe to start hating her. After Spencer won the Day 22 immunity challenge, LJ and his alliance decided to target Morgan who didn't deserve to still be in the game. To stir up some trouble, Tony is able to get LJ to agree on blindsiding Woo at the next tribal council. After he told Woo about blindsiding LJ, at tribal council, they voted with Spencer, Jeremiah, and Tasha, LJ was voted out by a vote of 5-3-1. At the final tribal council, LJ expressed his frustration about being voted out of the game, but ended up voting for Tony to be crowned Sole Survivor.

Voting HistoryEdit

LJ's Voting History
Episode LJ's
Voted Against
1 Solana Tribe Immune
2 Solana Tribe Immune
3 Morgan;
4 Solana Tribe Immune
5 Cliff Cliff, Lindsey,
6 Solana Tribe Immune
7 Sarah -
8 Morgan -
9 Spencer Jeremiah, Spencer,
Tasha, Tony, Woo
Voted Off, Day 25
Voted For
Sole Survivor

^1 In Cops-R-Us, the vote ended with a 2-2-2 tie between Alexis, Brice and Morgan, forcing a revote. LJ voted for Brice at the revote.


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  • LJ is the oldest member of the Solana tribe.
  • LJ shares his birthday with Survivor: Guatemala contestant Rafe Judkins.
  • LJ is the only male to make the Merge and not have been an Aparri tribe member at any time .
  • LJ lost 24 lbs. (10 kg) during his time in Cagayan.[2]
  • LJ was the last original tribe leader in Cagayan to be voted off and the only one to not be the first person voted off of a tribe.


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